I don’t get out of bed that early for everyone who asks, but because I was so flattered to be appointed as the event’s official blogger, I convinced myself the early start was just fine.
A sneak peak at the registrations shows I’m not the only one sacrificing sleep for intellectual titillation with 611 people registered across the four sessions. Some are attending all four, while others have just ticked one of the sessions.
There’s 303 other early birds signed up for Session 1 (3.30-5.15am), 427 people for Session 2 (6am-7.45), 508 people for Session 3 (9.15-11am) and 437 people for Session 4 (12-1.45pm).
This year’s line-up includes explorers, storytellers, photographers, scientific pioneers, visionaries and provocateurs from all parts of the globe who each get 18 minutes to present around this year’s theme of ‘The Rediscovery of Wonder’. Astronaut Cady Coleman, talking from her temporary home in zero-gravity on the International Space Station, gave the opening address. Watch this and other highlights from day one here. http://conferences.ted.com/TED2011/
An obvious question is that if the best talks are available online, why do people want to watch it from Bondi? Maybe it's for the joy of watching it in a crowd or maybe because like me it’s the closest they’re ever going to get to a live session of the annual TED Conference without becoming a billionaire, visionary or finding a way to end global poverty.
Not only are the entry tickets to the southern California conference around $7,500 a pop but there’s a waiting list a year long to be one of the 1,450 let in the door.
Preference is given to people who have done something fascinating with their lives; show evidence of creativity, innovation, insight, or brilliance; would be wonderful to sit next to at lunch and have a conversation with; and are well placed to help make a difference in the world
In contrast, to get to the free Bondi event you just have to put your name down, get out of bed and tumble down to the Pavilion. You don’t even need to get out of your PJs as the theme of the first session is a pyjama party.
Of the 18 speakers in tomorrow’s line-up, the four I’m most looking forward to are Bill Gates, who left his day-to-day role with Microsoft in 2008 to focus on philanthropy; Supersize Me’s Morgan Spurlock; and Amina Az-Zubair, national coordinator for Education for All at Nigeria’s Ministry of Education.
I’ll also add Antony, a musician and a US-based visual artist I’ve never heard of but he has a cool profile picture. A quick glance at his bio shows he’s often compared to Nina Simone and has worked with Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Boy George and Bjork, all of whom I have heard of.
Click here to watch the full program http://conferences.ted.com/TED2011/program/speakers.php
And I’m sure they’ll be other people I’ve heard little about who will surprise me on the day, which is part of the beauty of TED. Whether watching it online or in person, you come away fascinated or intrigued by someone you never knew existed but is slowing helping make the world a better place for all of us.
PS/ If you want to sound like a super-informed TED-fan by tomorrow, click here to watch Huffington Post's The Best of TED. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/the-best-of-ted-talks-tech_n_829368.html#s246860&title=Julian_Assange